Many before the time of Christ were waiting for the Messianic kingdom to right the wrongs in this world (grievances, violence, wrong judgment, sin - Hab 1:3-4, 13; 2:2-3). They were looking for a time (ie. an event) when a King would rule over the earth and restore order (in fulfillment of the “vision”, ie. of the Old Testament prophecies) – Jesus directs us to Himself. Hebrews 10:38.
Many of the Jews in the time of Christ were looking for a political and social Messiah. Many rejected Christ because when He came the first time, He was not here to right all the political or social wrongs, but to deal with our sins. He did not come as “King” (though He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and will come back one day to reign), but as Saviour.
Some followed Jesus for the wrong reason – because He did a miracle that provided for their needs. John 6:24-26.
They sought to make Jesus king – by force, seizing Him by violence! John 6:14-15.
When He was betrayed by Judas and surrounded by the armed guards in the Garden of Gethsemane, He refused to fight back, but gave Himself up to them. John 18:3-9, 12.
When speaking to Pilate, He stated His kingdom was not yet of this world; therefore His followers would not fight back with physical weapons. John 18:33-36.
40 days after Jesus arose, just before He ascended to Heaven, His disciples asked Him a question about His coming kingdom: Acts 1:6-7. Jesus changed their focus, then the angels pointed to His return, not just to His kingdom – ie. pointed to Him. Verses 9-11.
The Samaritan woman was waiting for the Messiah to reveal all things. Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah.” John 4:25-26.
Martha was waiting for a coming day, an event (ie. the future day of resurrection) - Jesus redirected her to a person, Himself. I Am the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:23-26.
The end of all arguments – whatever is going on in the world or in the lives of His people, God declares:
I am the LORD (or the Lord GOD - 164 times)
I am God (9 times)
I Am, and there is no other god (or saviour) beside Me (Deut 4:35, 39; 1 Sam 2:2; 2 Sam 7:22; 1 Kings 8:60; 1 Chron 17:20; Is 43:10-12; 44:6-8; 45:5-6, 18, 21-22; 46:9; Hosea 13:4; Joel 2:27)
Many in the world are running around looking for each of these things – even God’s people – but what we need more than provision, more than something to happen – what we need is Jesus Himself!
When we need (spiritual) light - He is our Light. He is Light. Psalm 27:1; 1 John 1:5.
When in need of strength - He is our strength. Psalm 28:7.
When we need wisdom - He is our wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:30.
When we need understanding - He is understanding. Proverbs 8:14.
When we need mercy and grace - He is merciful and gracious; that is His name (in the Bible, a name represents who someone is, their character). Exodus 33:19; 34:5-7.
When we need peace with God, peace of mind, peace with man - He is our peace. Ephesians 2:14.
When we are hopeless - He is our hope. 1 Timothy 1:1.
When we have no purpose or reason for living - He is our life. Colossians 3:4.
When we are scrambling, seeking the truth - the truth is in Jesus. He is the Truth. Ephesians 4:21; John 14:6.
When we are desperately seeking for someone to love us, He not only provides love - He is Love. 1 John 4:8, 16.
When we are looking for safety, security, shelter from the storms of life – He is our shield. Genesis 17:1.
When we are looking for something lasting in life, something to carry on from generation to generation – He is our inheritance. Numbers 18:20.
When we are looking for a way to be right with God, not only does the Lord provide righteousness - He is our righteousness. Jeremiah 23:6.
When looking for salvation, Jesus not only provides salvation – He is our salvation. Psalm 35:3.
Not only does Jesus save – He is our Saviour, and it is to be Him we are looking for – not just some future day or some kingdom, some future event – Jesus Himself! Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8.
What is our focus? Even as believers, are we seeking the Lord Jesus Christ for what He can do for us (and yes, we should be seeking Him for every need we have) – OR for who He is? Seeking for something we need, for something to happen - OR for Jesus Himself?
P.S. I didn't know which blog to post this in - on this study blog or on my sermon outline blog (A Shadow Of Things To Come). It fits both, as it is basically self-contained notes. This is part of the series I have been preaching on the I Ams of Jesus, and some of the thoughts that came out of it. I think the message was received pretty well today. It certainly gave some food for thought, and was a blessing to study out and preach. I hope it is also a blessing to you.